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tv   Political Capital With Al Hunt  Bloomberg  March 1, 2014 12:00am-12:31am EST

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>> congressman john dingell and his 58 years in congress. the ukraine debacle, and margaret carlson debates the political pull of bill clinton. we begin the program with a longest serving member of congress, ever. served with 11 presidents. he announced his retirement this
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week. it is a privilege to have john dingell. thank you for being here. >> god bless you. you still call me john. >> you have revered the institution. what reforms would you make? >> one is the nasty partisanship. that is a great shame. it shouldn't be that way. the congress means the coming together. the great assemblage of the american people to decide the issues that are important. all of the business has been moved into the office of the speaker. newt gingrich started that. it gave control over the then congress. they had the control they wanted to run the place they wanted.
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>> you would return some of that power? >> you bet i would. >> but with the money in politics, the 24 hour news cycle, do you worry that rather than a temporary cycle, this may be a condition for a long time? >> i am afraid that it is so. i am very much afraid that the congress will never be able to go back. you mentioned the other problems we have. 24-hour news cycle. the difficulty in getting the business of the congress done under those conditions. and, the tremendous difficulty that we have with the fact that members are no longer oriented towards washington. they are oriented towards their home district. >> you have served with 11 presidents. which was the best political leader?
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>> oh, boy. i have to tell you, the best political leader that i served with was lyndon johnson. i think, however, probably the best president that i know of was our great president roosevelt or truman. >> you have been a supporter of president obama. he is governing in a difficult environment. is there one or two lessons he could learn from those previous presidencies? >> he is trying hard. he has an awful situation.
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the republican party is terribly divided. it is terribly divided, so they spend much of their time fighting each other. they don't have the time to mess with democrats. >> there is not much he can do? >> not a whole heck of a lot. he is trying. i think the staff that he has is good. but, they are not doing enough to get close to the congress. they are doing better. it is going to take a long time to get over and get past that point. if they take too long, there is no task remaining until he is out of the door. >> you have said your favorite speaker was sam rayburn.
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let me ask you a few questions. tip o'neill. >> a wonderful guy. everybody loved him. both republicans and democrats. i don't know anyone that has anything bad to say about tip. he was a good speaker. another irishman was a great one. john mccormick. he was the protége of rayburn. he also was mentor of tip o'neill. it was a wonderful succession. they understood how the place should work and how people could work together. >> on the other side, newt gingrich. >> newt gingrich is a friend of mine. there are very few men or women
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in the house with whom i have served that i do not call a friend. newt came in determined to remake the house, remake the congress. he did. a lot of the troubles were the things that he did that were not the things that needed to be done or the good things that we should have done. the result was a moved all of the authority of power into the office of the speaker. it doesn't work. >> how about nancy pelosi? >> nancy is probably one of the most effective speakers. nancy is, i think, not only able but she cares. she has been effective in getting things done. i think it is unfortunate that a lot of the things that have been
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done by the congress under her leadership have not been done the way that the house works, or should work. the result was that she carried forward a lot of the things that should have been done differently prior to gingrich. >> you were -- are -- an extraordinary legislator. let's leave aside john dingell for a little bit. what one or two legislators struck you as a great legislator? >> george mitchell. one of the great, capable compromisers. no longer much remembered.
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but a beloved friend of mine -- john moss. >> you have said over the past 30-plus years, no one has mattered more to you than your wife. she announced on friday that she is running for your congressional seat. are you going to be an advisor to the next congressman dingell? >> i'm going to wait to see what the next congressman dingell wants me to do. i'm going to be her boss because i'm going to be her constituent. that is a remarkable position to be in. deborah is smart. she has lots of experience in government and in the house. she knows how to make things happen. she will be a great congressman with no help from me. she is going to be a little giant.
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a lot smoother and more gracious than her husband. >> i really disagree with you. i think that she will be just like john dingell. thank you very much. best of luck to you. >> i have been honored to be with you. it has been wonderful. i have done a lot of wonderful things and met a lot of wonderful people. i saw to it that a lot of people were helped. it has been a remarkable career. >> it has been. thank you. when we return, a new tax reform plan. ♪
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>> welcome back. we are joined by kevin brady of texas. the ranking republican member on house ways and means. dave camp, with your support, there is any chance the house will vote on it this year? >> i don't know the timing on a vote. the timing to lay down the track is long overdue. it is dragging our economy down. it is unfair. someone, sometime had to lay down that first top to bottom rewrite.
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>> you have done in an admirable way. is there any chance the house will vote on it? >> i think it depends upon how it moves. the members in our conference are very interested in fixing this broken code. we have lots of segments of industry are weighing in a big way. >> doesn't this proposal set the predicate in many ways for any subsequent tax on wealthy banks? that has to be a part of any future package. >> this is important because it takes a big step. you have the conversation with specifics on the tax code. again, it really is how this is received. how groups weigh in. how members feel about it. at the end of the day we want the most pro-growth tax code. this is an important step.
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>> the bank tax. people said it never happened. they are so powerful. they will never let that happen. >> in the draft, they start with a 30% rate cut. they start with a $3 trillion stronger economy. >> you think it is good for them? >> you look at the whole package. this has much more benefit, especially as banks are laying off thousands of workers because of this disappointing economy. >> will small banks support this? >> i don't know. it would be my advice to the big banks -- take a look at the whole package. the economic growth. the impact on customers. if you have a better idea on how to help lower tax rates, bring it. we are listening, bring those ideas, let's have the discussion. >> grover norquist says he has
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an idea that it would hamstring capital investment and damage economic growth over the long run. why is he wrong? >> i have not heard that point there. he has keen insight on tax issues. i think that by simplifying the code, reducing those rates in a major way, we know this will grow the economy. we believe it will draw more capital to the united states. >> let me give you another critique. it is presented as revenue neutral. this is the committee for a responsible federal budget. it is bipartisan. it praises hard to that. it relies on one-time revenue sources and timing shifts to pay for permanent rate cuts. it could increase deficits in the second decade. >> i think it will be the opposite. it will generate more revenue.
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it will add $700 billion in new revenues to help us pay down the debt. i believe, spending cuts can get us to a balanced budget. >> you think by the second decade it will raise revenues because of the dynamics. >> in the first decade. >> you drew a parallel to the 1986 tax reform under president reagan. one of the differences is that under that measure, the earned income tax credit for the poor was vastly expanded. under this proposal it would be cut back. a woman making a minimum wage of $17,000, she will lose $2000 in 4-5 years. should the poor have to pay the burden? >> they do not. everyone making up to $100,000 sees a tax cut. and, average family takes home
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-- >> that is cut back a little bit. shouldn't that be expanded rather than cut back? >> it is not. in my view, it was supposed to offset the payroll tax. unfortunately it has gone beyond that. it is refocus back on making sure a roll taxes taxes are offset. it is phased out later so more families have that opportunity, and it is a create that poverty trap where the harder you work, the more you are punished. i think it is a smarter way of helping people, and encouraging employees to be hired. >> chairman camp is term limited. you and paul ryan had expressed interest in being the next chairman of the ways and means committee. it is said that paul ryan has the inside track. he is better known. he can raise money. is that true? >> he is a terrific leader. a good friend. the point is, i'm qualified and prepared to lead this committee.
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i'm going to make that case to my colleagues. this is about ideas and how we can move tax reform forward. it is good to have it. >> what will your prospects be? >> i will be in position to lead the committee. >> you think you were going to get it. >> hopefully we are going to present to the choices to our colleagues. >> thank you for being with us. coming up, unease in the ukraine. and the clintons look to the future. we will be back. ♪
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>> welcome back. we will get to margaret carlson a moment. first, the latest from the ukraine. what are the odds that putin goes into the ukraine? >> the odds are fairly good. all it takes is for somebody to say we need help. the old term was fraternal assistance. the intelligence assessment here is bleaker than what you're hearing in public. they still assess that putin sees this as a continuation of the cold war, a chance to reverse what was started in 1991. >> our notion is to play nice,
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putin doesn't like to play nice. >> he doesn't see the world the same way the folks in the west do. >> when you look at key have -- kiev, whatever happens there, they use imposed conditions. isn't it likely to make a political situation even worse? >> there is one way to mitigate the a little bit. give them some money up front. they need $3.5 billion to get to the end of march. you could do that without those conditions. then, have the conditions tightened as time goes by. then get more money. you don't have to start out with hitting them with conditions on day one. that is with the eu and imf are talking about. >> i think it is universally agreed that he was a crooked thug. there are not any jeffersonian democrats in the wings.
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there is a leadership problem. >> there is no hero stepping onto the stage. she was let out of prison. she doesn't have a completely clean record either. there is no one but you can simply turn to and say it is your turn. >> you have the unfortunate habit of being right. i hope you are wrong this time. that would really be a scary proposition. >> i hope i am wrong, too. >> the author of the upside of down. margaret, you have never failed but i have. >> i'm hugely successful. >> congratulations. let me start. bill clinton goes to kentucky to champion the candidate running against mitch mcconnell. can he make a difference?
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>> it is better than having obama going. i'm not sure that he can pull a democrat candidate over the top. it is a tough state for the democratic party. >> if anyone could pull them across the finish line, it is bill clinton. he is incredibly popular. he filled the hall for her. when he comes in, he gives the best speech of his life every time he gives a speech. look at the conventions. >> it's amazing. >> you don't have to compare to obama for it to be good. the only person bill clinton is not good for is hillary clinton. he needs to stay out. in 2012, he did not do such a good job by her. >> don't forget, bubba carried kentucky both times. -- is it a good idea to enact the increase that obama is looking for and the
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republicans are resisting? >> the cbo found it would lose 500,000 jobs. then it would increase the spending power of 16.5 million people. it restores something that has been lost. if you work in this country, you can get ahead. this is not the way it is now. people earning a a minimum wage. people can't do it. your family suffers. >> right now, and this labor market, the worst that can happen to you in a modern society is to be out of work. even 500,000 is a lot of people to put out of work and into this terrible condition. even if it does raise the income of poor families. it does so by making the poorest of them worse off.
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i don't think this is a good time for this. i would like us to see us exploring better alternatives like wage subsidies while not taking them out of the labor force. you could do a payroll tax rebate. there are a lot of ideas out there. i don't think this is the right one. >> is the book going well? >> it is going pretty well. there is a whole chapter on employment. very timely. >> thank you all very much. thank you. we will see you again on next week. >> "political capital" is a production of bloomberg television. ♪
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>> power, leadership, impact. billionaires who are changing the world. on a special "titans at the table," we chat with microsoft chairman and global philanthropist bill gates. he is the world's richest person and with that great wealth comes great responsibility. he wants to destroy the myth that poverty and disease can't be eradicated. >> when i was born, almost all countries were poor. >> joining gates, a friend and fellow philanthropist, the bloomberg lp founder and former new york city mayor, michael bloomberg. >> there are fewer people starving, fewer people sleeping without a roof over their head. things are better. >> in the bill and melinda gates